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It’s Christmastime. Find Joy and Heal. [Obama's Full Remarks - Video]

“I want to talk to the White House. I know that they can’t give me an answer tonight, but I want to know what they’re going to do. I need to know what they’re going to do.”Rep. Carolyn McCarthy

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

GOD HAD nothing to do with the Connecticut school massacre and religion wouldn’t have stopped it, contrary to fundamentalist zealots saying otherwise. These people must have missed the violence embedded in holy books; the torture regime and wars so many of them support. Arming everyone, a cry from the crazy right, won’t stop it either. Too many don’t understand yet another event that mirrors the country in which we all live. Look at our inner cities and the gun violence that has been occurring in this country for years.

Just recently in Cleveland police pursued a couple and officers unloaded their firearms shooting the unarmed couple 137 times after the car chase ended. It’s not an isolated incidence. Who can forget the story of Amadou Diallo?

Would religion have saved these people? Would more guns have made the difference?

After the unspeakable tragedy of massacred children, the news will drill down and drum on all weekend.

Resist the urge to turn it on. Walk away.

Sign a petition to demand mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, as well as hold gun sellers to strict standards that put them in jail if they don’t. A national gun registry is also needed, because this isn’t the founders’ country anymore and the Second Amendment was never meant to suggest mandatory firearm ownership, because it’s assumed that’s the only way to protect yourself, which is now the ridiculous chant from the extremist zealots.

To remind those who don’t know, I’m part of a gun owning family, my husband a firearms expert, both of us knowing that the answer isn’t to make firearms compulsory to safety.

If you’re not directly impacted by the horrific mass slaughter in Connecticut it’s incumbent on you to find a way to excavate joy from the season to heal at a time of year meant to replenish all of our tapped reserves. Each of us has to find a way to escape the latest mind numbing horror and help our family and those closest to us to do the same thing in a season that is meant at its heart to reconnect and reestablish love bonds that sometimes get frayed or broken over the year.

There will be time for activism again, which begins where my first post on this latest gun tragedy started.

Just don’t let the horror playing out on your television consume you, your family or your friends. Talk to your children, no matter their ages, and lead your family to finding joy in this Christmastime season. Rent a movie that reminds you of the laughter of life. The joy of living. The happiness that must be tapped, regardless of what swirls around us all.

Share recipes with friends, comfort food that can tap a vein that soothes and connects in the worst of times.

Feed your mental health with happiness, love and everything that holds the hope of healing your heart and longing for life’s best things.

Follow meditations or prayers for those directly impacted in tragedy with words of inspiration for your own life and those of the people you love.

The best medicine in tough times is laughter. It’s the fullest gift you can give those spiraling downward because of tragedy none of us can possibly make sense of in a nation where ignorant zealots don’t understand that God has nothing to do with tragedies, whether it’s Sandy or another disturbed person on a rampage, and that mental health snapping is the disease and guns the easy outlet.

Love of life and tapping the gift of living is all that can make us whole again; finding the force behind the life source that fills your heart and the thread that will heal you and those you love, which for some is something greater than self and for others is simply the joy of life in each moment that must never be squandered. It doesn’t matter if we agree on the means or method as long as our intent manifests a buoyant result.

Find a way to enjoy yourself today. Share that joy with those you love.

Enjoy the full episode of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Statement by the President on the School Shooting in Newtown, CT

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

THE PRESIDENT: This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.

We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would — as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.

The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers — men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.

So our hearts are broken today — for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.

As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago — these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.

This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.

Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need — to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.

May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

This column has been updated.

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9 Responses to It’s Christmastime. Find Joy and Heal. [Obama's Full Remarks - Video]

  1. ladywalker68 December 15, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Thanks for this, Taylor.

    • Taylor Marsh December 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      You bet, ladywalker68.

  2. whitepaw December 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Good post, but I still think for those who can, the time for activism is now. It is high time gun control issues are faced head on when emotions are high. Otherwise, there may be no change, again.

    NRA is not stopping now, why should those who want gun control changes. Perhaps such a change will be the best holiday present of all, even if it happens after Christmas… but start the ball rolling now. Press congress to do something, even if only think about it over their holiday break.

    • Taylor Marsh December 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      I wrote the first post on activism, also saying in this one that signing a petition can be done.

      My stance is clear on the NRA and background checks, as well as holding sellers accountable through felony indictments.

      That doesn’t preclude taking joy from the season.

  3. ladywalker68 December 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    The truth be known, I have not watched any television coverage of this event. I have only been reading about it. I could not handle it emotionally.

    • jjamele December 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      I watched a few minutes of Gov Hickenlooper spewing the usual weasel words, and had to turn it off. I won’t listen to CSPAN’s replay of the Sunday talk shows like I usually do because I know what I’m going to hear, and I’m not in the mood.

      I’m going to hear a lot of praise for the “hero” teachers, much of it from people who have nothing good to say about teachers when they aren’t taking bullets and will go back to condemning them as lazy union hacks within a month or so. I’m going to hear a lot of empty “our hearts and prayers go out” nonsense- never mind that the victims and the victim’s families don’t need our prayers, they need sane gun laws which they will never get. And I’m going to hear endless versions of “this tragedy is unthinkable” (Gov Hickenlooper called it “surreal” and “unimaginable,” treating us like we have the attention span of grasshoppers.) Tragedies like this don’t have to be imagined- they are only months apart now. Before we can forget one and go back to our gun-worshipping ways, we get another one.

      Oh, and I’m going to hear a lot of “this is not the time for politics” crap. Funny- after 9/11, we got the Patriot Act and two pointless wars before we had time to blink. Massacres of innocents in theaters and schools? Hey, let’s not jump to conclusions about the need for sensible gun control!

      That’s what I WOULD hear- if I was interested in wasting a Sunday afternoon listening to this dreck. I’m not. If anyone does listen, and hears anything of value, please let me know. I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

      • whitepaw December 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

        jjamele, your assessment (if you were listening) is spot on.

  4. TPAZ December 16, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    There’s nothing like A Charlie Brown Christmas viewing to rebalance your soul. Thanks, TM.

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